Social media marketing is no longer a “nice to have” component in a business marketing strategy. Instead, it has now achieved “must-have” status. No matter what your industry or business model, if you aren’t leveraging social media, you’re missing out. From multinational corporations to your local recruitment agency in Virginia, social media has become an indispensable part of both B2B and B2C marketing. Not sure if you’re doing it right? Don’t worry!
Hopefully, this blog will offer some useful information that you can apply to your social media marketing efforts. Read on to discover how you can improve or even create a working and sustainable strategy.
In 2022, hardly any business can say they don’t have a social media page or presence. But being on social media platforms is not enough. These platforms boast billions of users across the globe. Pew Research indicates that in 2021, 69% of all American adults use Facebook. The same research suggests 40% use Instagram, while 28% are active on LinkedIn.
Why is this significant? These demographics include the same audience that you and your competitors want to convert into customers. Social media marketing or SMM is a targeted, quantifiable, and fluid marketing approach to help you catalyze this audience. Here are some effective tips to build an SMM strategy that delivers the results you want:
Set Realistic Marketing Goals
There is no point in a marketing strategy without clearly defined goals. These goals help businesses clarify what they want from their marketing efforts (and their marketing budgets). The right goals can drive the extent and effectiveness of social media marketing success. Goal-setting can vary from business to business. But as a general rule, when setting SMM goals:
- Make them as specific as possible
- Set achievable and realistic targets
- Add milestones to measure progress
Invest in Understanding Target Audiences
When in the early stages of setting up an SMM strategy, audience research is crucial stuff. It is not enough to know a large segment of your target audience uses specific social media platforms. For marketing and branding experts, hitting the right note is essential. The most successful marketing campaigns are the ones that resonate with audiences. This is what encourages them to convert from casual social media followers into paying customers. Understand what interests your audience, what motivates them, and what problems they have that your product/service can solve. This can help you craft the right buyer persona. In turn, you can set up an SMM campaign within the parameters most likely to appeal to this audience.
Prioritize The Most Suitable Platforms
There are plenty of social media platforms. But that does not mean all of them are equally useful for your needs. What is far more important is having an impact on your targeted audience in the most cost-effective way. Therefore, you may need to prioritize what social media platforms you want to target audiences on. Moreover, the type of social media platform you choose will determine the type of marketing content you will use. In any case, the social preferences of your target demographic will always be a huge deciding factor in your choice of platforms.
Devise and Test Strategies on Platforms
Now that you have an initial strategy, audience, and platforms, it is time to start testing strategies in real-time. Don’t worry if this is your first time running a social media campaign. We all have to start somewhere. And it may be best if you gain more hands-on experience with a real, live strategy. Let’s be clear that this is more of a learning step. Don’t expect real results in terms of meeting your marketing KPIs initially. Instead, it is about learning through testing different approaches. Document what you do, look at the results and tweak before testing again. You ought to gain some valuable experience. Particularly in terms of testing, analytics, and improvement.
Create a Flexible Content Calendar
A content calendar will always be a valuable part of any social media strategy. In terms of SMM, you should be prepared for key marketing events and opportunities ahead of time. A social media calendar can help you pinpoint the right times to deploy campaigns like holiday sales. It can also help you run campaigns in parallel that have different marketing outcomes. A content calendar is one of the best ways to make sure you are always on top of your social media marketing strategy. Flexibility, however, is a must since you may have to activate ad-hoc campaigns at short notice.
Leverage Smart Online Tools and Automation
Finally, don’t shy away from using the latest digital platforms and automation tools. These days, there is purpose-built business software for every conceivable use. HR makes use of digital tools to supplement sales and marketing recruitment. Accountants use ERP systems for reporting or bookkeeping. Similarly, you can use a range of tools like HootSuite to not just manage your campaigns, but also to automate them. Look up the best tools you can find, and see which ones are the most usable for your needs. When you understand how they work, you should be able to run your campaigns with a greater degree of ease.